Saturday, July 31, 2010

How Dare I Feel Down

I've been off of chemo since mid-June.  I kept up with all the parties and family and running around. No afternoon napping for me.  Moved into Mom-mode in trying to organize Colleen and getting her ready for her big move to college.  Spent the last 4 weekends focused on Michaela and her softball practice and local weekend tournaments.  Survived last week's flood.  All in all, I've been "living normal"...doing all the regular stuff of life.  Small, day-to-day activities that were elusive this time last year. 


I'm feeling really restless.  Incomplete. Lost.  I was close to breaking down and having a good cry fest today.  I actually planned on going to a chapel this afternoon to just be alone, unfindable, and see if I could make any sense of my current state of mind.

I'm feeling anxious and desperate.  I need to work again.  As in MONEY.  I'm scared. 

Then, I read on the colon cancer message board that I frequent, that one of "us" - a fighter/survivor, has taken a turn for the worse.  Colon cancer spread to her brain, nothing they can do, she has a  13-yo child.  Donna is such a beautiful spirit. She's probably pretty tired of fighting.

My CT scan is in 2 weeks.  Am I still cancer free?  My colonoscopy is in Spetember, will the "symptoms" I'm having now mean the  cancer is returned?  The thought of only being "free" for a short while is unerving.
How do people keep fighting and fighting when they get recurrences? dare I feel one bit sad or depressed.  Because today, I am cancer free, and here, and have every reason in the world to be happy.  Donna doesn't get that.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chemo Is Officially Over....Now What?

After weekly chemo from April 2009 thru June 2010, I am done with chemo. I had a few breaks during that time due to infections, blockages, and other delightful set backs.

Then, as many of you know, I found my way to Sloan Kettering in March 2010 and had 8 tumors removed from my liver and one ablated. There is no protocol for post-resection chemo. Some believe that doing chemo when there is technically No Evidence of Disease, is stupid. Some people think some chemo is a bit of insurance.

I had 4 cycles post surgery and just had a break due to family and vacation etc. I went to chemo today, ready to do a few more rounds and I asked the Oncologist, OK, how many more cycles do you think?

Doctor basically said that doing "mop up chemo" is no guarantee that the cancer won't come back. If it's going to return, it won't be because I did or didn't do more chemo at this point. So, I said, let's end it.

Now, my CEA in June was 1.9 and today was 2.1. Still normal, but......?????

I'll do a CAT scan in 6 weeks amd blood work, then my first colonoscopy in September, since my diagnosis in March 2009.

So, now what? For 15 months, my life has been hospitals, surgeries, chemo, procedures blah blah blah.

I guess the mental/emotional battle begins. Re-establishing a life. Getting a job (hah, me and a gazillion other people) Learning to not live in fear and panic and anxiety of Cancer's Return.

Any Post Treatment Tips Welcome!!!!!